The NFL’s Washington Redskins will be unveiling their new name at some point today after deciding on a rebranding due to the fact that some Native American groups have described their name and logo as racially insensitive.
Additionally, MLB’s Cleveland Indians have undergone discussions regarding their team name, as well as the Atlanta Braves discussing the popular “Tomahawk chop” fan celebration.
And now, an opinion piece from one of the nation’s major newspapers is calling for a name change for another professional team.
Karen Attiah of The Washington Post published an opinion piece earlier today calling on the Texas Rangers to follow in the Redskins’ steps and change their team name.
Her reasoning involves the past history of the law enforcement organization.
“To know the full history of the Texas Rangers is to understand that the team’s name is not so far off from being called the Texas Klansmen,” she writes.
“What we didn’t realize at the time was that the Rangers were a cruel, racist force when it came to the nonwhites who inhabited the beautiful and untamed Texas territory. The first job of the Rangers, formed in 1835 after Texas declared independence from Mexico, was to clear the land of Indian for white settlers….That was just the start. The Rangers oppressed black people, helping capture runaway slaves trying to escape to Mexico; in the aftermath of the Civil War, they killed free blacks with impunity.”
“But Ranger racism is not an artifact of the distant past. Rangers would be called on to protect white supremacy into the 1960s, deployed to prevent school integration. In 1956, when black students were attempting to take classes at all-white Texarkana Junior College, Rangers stood by as the mob attacked them — and threatened to arrest the black students. For their efforts, Swanson writes, they were rewarded with a chicken dinner from the White Citizens’ Council in Texarkana.”
The team has already released a statement regarding their team name:
“While we may have originally taken our name from the law enforcement agency, since 1971 the Texas Rangers Baseball Club has forged its own, independent identity,” the team said Friday. “The Texas Rangers Baseball Club stands for equality. We condemn racism, bigotry, and discrimination in all forms.”
“To help bring about meaningful change, we are committed to listening to and supporting our communities of color. Over the past 30 years, the Texas Rangers Foundation has invested more than $45 million on programs and grants in the areas of health, education, and crisis assistance for youth in our underserved communities.
“We go forward committed to do even more, with a renewed promise that the Texas Rangers name will represent solutions and hope for a better future for our communities.”
Do you agree with her reasoning?
– – Quotes via Karen Attiah of The Washington Post Link – –